Let’s face it, the holidays are a time for enjoyment and indulgent. A few cocktails will be had along with a few too many calories, we can get back on track in January right? Sure, but there are some simply things we can do some simple things now to help.
- Get plenty of water
Yes we need water to survive, we know this, but there are so many other helpful ways water keeps us healthy. Firstly it will help detoxify the body of all the holiday excesses. Science has proven that proper hydration helps the body deal with stress, keeping the holidays a happy (calm) time. Starting your morning with a glass of warm lemon water will help start the digestive system working. And finally drink a full glass of water before you sit down at the holiday table, will prevent overeating.
- Plan your eating
With all the wonderful foods around us, it is easy to just graze a little here and there…. And everywhere! Plan your eating! “I will not have that gingerbread cookie before dinner… but I will definitely indulge in some pudding after.” This type of thinking will help avoid the over eating the holidays are known for. Pick your favourite holiday treats and allow yourself those and do not just eat them because they are there.
- Cook Smart
Simple ingredient switches while cooking can really help limit the calories as well as boost the nutritional value of your holiday meals. Roast your vegetables in healthy fats, such as olive oil (good for the heart), coconut oil (boosts metabolism and feeling of fullness) or flax seed (high omega 3). Next add some extra veg to your mash: cauliflower, carrot and sweet potato, it not only adds extra nutrients but also tastes oh so good. Finally steaming your greens, such as broccoli, green beans and Brussels sprouts will not only help keep the fresh flavour but also keeps the nutrients in tact. Pro tip: keep the steaming water to add to the gravy for an extra nutrient boost.
- Get your macros!
Your body unfortunately does not know it’s the holidays; it still needs all the same nutrients as it does every other day of the year. Yes sugar is everywhere and can be hard to avoid, but make sure you are still getting your protein and healthy (I repeat HEALTHY) fat intake. As athletes we know how important protein is for performance, so make sure you get that turkey in.
- Add Some Greens
While sitting down to eat a feast, think green first. Fill half (or more) of your plate with salad or green vegetables, then split the other half with protein (the turkey) and carbohydrates… good complex carbs such as sweet potatoes and if bread is a must for you then choose whole wheat, rye or sourdough.
Finally… Enjoy! Happy Holidays